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      Is There Anything Practical About Being Pragmatic?

      Saturday, September 29, 2007

      prag·ma·tism
      (prgm-tzm)

      n.
      1. A method in philosophy where value is determined by practical results.
      2. Philosophy A movement consisting of varying but associated theories, originally developed by Charles S. Peirce and William James and distinguished by the doctrine that the meaning of an idea or a proposition lies in its observable practical consequences.
      3. A practical, matter-of-fact way of approaching or assessing situations or of solving problems.

      "I remember talking to a 'Christian' businessman one day. I was trying to have a conversation with him about some heavy matters of theology, and he really wasn't interested. He said (condescendingly), 'R.C., that's fine to talk about all this doctrine and everything, but give me some news I can use.'

      I said, 'You want news you can use...(sigh)'

      What was he saying to me? He was saying, 'R.C., I don't feel the need to know anything about the holiness of God. What I need to know is how to solve the problems within my marriage, with my kids, or with whatever...'

      I said, 'Don't you see that how you understand the character of God is the single most important thing you can learn that will change for the long-haul your relationship to your wife and your relationship to your children?'

      See, people need to know who God is, but they don't feel the pressure of it now. There's some other 'symptom' that is bothering them and pressing upon them so deeply that, at the moment, they want the short-term 'cure', and, if the 'cure works', then it 'proves the truth of the value or the goodness' of the decision."


      - R.C. Sproul


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